The tires on modern cars are just as advanced as their engines. Tires are one of those systems that can change the feel and dynamics of a vehicle in an instant. A simple swap of the tires can affect the handling, noise, braking, and fuel efficiency. Depending on the choice you make, it can be for the better or worse.
People think instead of buying separate sets for each season, they can get away with a single set of winter tires for the whole year. After all, tires are tires and winter is where the danger lies, right? Wrong. Tests and studies have shown time and time again, this is a bad idea
Lots of research and testing goes into these rubber cylinders. Because of this extensive R&D, we have tires specially designed for specific use like road tires vs. track tire, all-season/summer tires or winter tires. There’s a reason winter tires and summer tires are classified as such.
Making the mistake of using winter tires in the summer is a mistake that you should not make if you want the best out of your car. Let’s discuss and give you some reasons why you should not use winter tires in the summer.
Winter Tires are Softer and Wear Out Faster
First, you should know what a winter tire actually is. Winter tires are made with softer compounds that help in maintaining better grip and traction in extreme cold, snowy or icy roads. The soft rubber makes the tire flexible helping it to stick to the surface better. They also have deeper tread depths and specialized tread patterns.
This softer and flexible design gives you better performance in the winter but wears down at an alarming rate on summer roads. The tread starts to lose depth easily and are only meant for softer surfaces.
The Costs Do Not Go Down
What most people assume is that using a single set of tires for the whole season saves them money. This cannot be any farther from the truth. In fact, it is more expensive to run a single set of winter tires for the whole year compared to separate sets for different weathers.
Winter tires wear out faster on hot roads. The soft rubber will melt away faster than an ice cream (exaggeration). Faster wear means frequent replacements. So if you are planning for the long-term, then winter tires are not your best bet.
And if the extra wear and tear is not enough, your fuel consumption also takes a hit. The extra resistance provided by the softer winter tires shoot up the gas costs considerably. If you care for the mileage, stay away from winter tires during those summer days.
Change in Handling and Driving Dynamics
You got a gem-of-the-pack 2017 Panamera Turbo from a used luxury car dealership. It devours corners like a little tiger. The handling and braking on this luxury sedan are amazing but do you know how you can turn it into junk? By using winter tires in the summer.
Yes, not just cost, even handling is negatively affected by a set of winter tires on summer roads. If you have a torquey and sharp handling car, you should just stick to specially made summer tires. You don’t get that crisp and sharp handling from a winter tire as they are meant for slow and careful driving.
Okay, maybe you don’t have a high-performance car, and you don’t care about razor-sharp handling. You can use winter tires then, right? No, you should not. Even if you have a standard sedan with an engine of the size of a puppy, using winter tires in the summer will screw up the braking completely.
Winter tires perform horrendously on warm and dry surfaces while braking. A few feet of distance can mean the distance between life and death. If you care for your life then it is better to use separate sets of tires for different weathers.